Summer Colorblock Jersey Knit Tee & Dress
If you are a garment sewist, you, like most of us, own multiple tee shirt patterns. The style of each tee shirt design may be slightly different, but they are a basic tee shirt. I found the McCall's 7600 tank and tee shirt pattern in our collection and decided to showcase more than one fabric from our Batik Cotton Jersey Knit collection.
McCall's 7600 has many offerings. I made the three-fabric option and the two-fabric option with a standard short sleeve. Here are images of each of those garments.
Each of these tee shirts is available as a Fashion Duo or if you have a collection of Jersey Knit that you have to use simply purchase the pattern here.
Three-Fabric Tee Shirt:
Each section of the tee shirt requires between 1/2 yard and 3/4 yard depending on the length you wish to make the tee shirt. Since our fabric is 72" wide each section of the tee shirt fits within one cut of 72" wide fabric.
Now, you may have a favorite tee shirt pattern that you already love and use over and over again. You can create the same effect as the McCall's 7600 (two or three fabric tee's) by either cutting your pattern pieces apart, adding a seam allowance to each piece. Or, you can sew fabric strips together and layout your tee shirt pattern on the pieced fabric. The decision is your's as to the method you use. Just know where the seams will lay on you before finalizing your design.
Two-Fabric Tee Shirt:
The two fabric tee shirt from the McCall's 7600 pattern is also a fun design. The back of the tee shirt is designed to be wider and wrap towards the front of the garment at each side seam. This is a nice design element. But again, if you opt to use your own favorite pattern, this element will not be part of your finished garment, you will most likely finish with a simple tee shirt with two fabrics!
Tee Shirt Dress:
I love this dress.
Let's talk about the top bodice portion of the garment:
As you can see, I used the top bodice of the tee shirt as my starting point. I already know that the tee shirt fits me in the bust and sleeve. I used slightly less than 1/2 yard of our 72" wide Batik Cotton Jersey Knit - Phoenix - Navy Jewel fabric. Here are three images of the fabric layout. I used a cardboard cutting table and pinned the edges of the jersey knit into the cardboard. This helped me ignore the natural curl of the knit and to keep the fabric from moving around. I used pattern weights to secure the pattern pieces.
NOTE: If you don't have a cardboard cutting table (old school, I know...) and are working on a cutting mat, I recommend using painters tape to secure the rolled edges.
The Skirt Portion of the Dress:
I folded the Jersey Knit with selvage edges touching in the center of the fabric - creating two folds, one on each side.
NOTE: Now, this layout may or may not work if the size of your pattern piece or the flare of the skirt is too angled. If the flare of your skirt is wider than 36" (half the width of the 72" wide Jersey Knit) you will need more than 1 yard of fabric and stagger the layout to yield the angle you want.
I positioned the pattern piece that makes up the center bodice of the tee shirt at one open edge of the fabric along the fold. The center piece of this tee shirt is the same front and back. We will use this piece to cut the front and back of our skirt. As you can see from the picture below, I have simply used pins as my guide for cutting an angle to the skirt. You can use a ruler and a fabric pencil as well. I cut out the front of the skirt. I then used the front of the skirt as my pattern for the back of the skirt. I wanted the angle to match exactly.
I followed the pattern assembly instructions to construct the dress, add the neck facing, sleeves, and hem.I used a 5/8" seam allowance provided in the pattern.
Plan the fullness of the skirt - just a bit more... I really took a chance that the A-Line that I was drafting was full enough for my liking. Luckily it was. Next time I will measure the fullness of my favorite dress and use that measurement as my guide.
Start the A-Line from the top edge of the pattern piece, not the bottom edge... As you can see from the image above center, I started the A-Line by extending the length from the bottom corner of the pattern piece. This gives the garment a slimmer tee shirt look, but also reduces the possible fullness in the waist. Next time I will start the A-Line extension about 1" below the top edge of the pattern piece. I will have a bit more fullness in the waist and hips.
Wash up more fabric for a second garment... Just kidding... But, truthfully, it's always great to have more than one garment from the same pattern. Keep designing and exploring!
Until next time....